Lincolnshire

Boston fire blast Lithuanian victims identified

Emergency services at the scene
Image caption It is believed the men died instantly in the explosion

Five men killed in an explosion at an industrial unit in Lincolnshire have been identified by police.

The five victims of the blast in Boston on Wednesday were all Lithuanian nationals living in Peterborough.

It is thought Vaidas Krupenkinas, 39, Laimutis Simkus, 32, Ovidijus Mejeris, 26, Ricardas Gecas, 24, and Erlandas Duzinskas, 18, died instantly.

Lincolnshire Police said their relatives had been informed with the help of the Lithuanian Embassy.

A sixth man survived after suffering 75% burns. He underwent surgery at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham.

'Tragic time'

Police have revealed they discovered evidence which suggested the unit was being used as an illegal distillery when the explosion took place.

Det Supt Guy Collings, of Lincolnshire Police, who is in charge of the investigation, said: "We would like to thank the Lithuanian Embassy, whose valuable assistance has enabled us to quickly identify the fatal casualties and notify their next of kin.

"All the families have now been informed and our thoughts and prayers are with them at this tragic time.

"The investigation continues and we renew our appeal to anyone with information to come forward and talk to us."

Police said after the explosion they had found chemicals on the premises which "tended to indicate either the manufacture or production of alcohol".

They said they had dealt with illegal alcohol production in the area earlier this year when six stores in Boston were found to be selling isopropyl alcohol, used as a solvent and cleaning fluid.

Boston Borough Council's licensing committee revoked the alcohol licence of one store and suspended another. Action is due to be taken against the other four.

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